Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Fanboys: Shaming Me By Association All Over Again

I usually post my videos on Wednesday nights, but this time, I have quite a bit to say about this one, so I thought posting something a little earlier was warranted.

There is some bad language and the use of a particular invective in this... just to give you a heads up.

You know the kind of person who makes such a spectacle of themselves that it makes you look bad by extension? This is one of this instances where that has happened. I like wrestling, I really do, but people like the above example make it very hard for me to admit that publicly. And it is this kind of fan that made me opt out of going to local wrestling events, because I don't want to be associated with fans like this. I mean, on some level, I am embarrassed to be connecting my blog with that kind of fanaticism, even just to call it out.

And I would hold that opinion no matter what the above ranting was about... it is not wrestling-centric. If he was having a tantrum like that about football, 24, James Bond or any other thing which I either love or dislike, I'd still look at that behavior with disapproving eyes.

What I find sad is this isn't even isolated to the wrestling community (though it is surprisingly large), but rather an example of something that goes on in almost every segment of the pop culture fandom.

Don't believe me?

The phrase "This is what I love and you're killing it" was uttered in this video. I am sure somewhere online, you can find that phrase with George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Electronic Arts, Uwe Boll or Michael Bay (ok, that one may be warranted) in front of it, and being represented as the opinion of all fandom when that isn't the case.

And if you aren't like the above people, somehow, you aren't a real fan. How and when did not acting like a complete dipshit end up being equated with a lack of love for something? Seriously, I would like to know.

So just because I act like, I don't know, a normal person when it comes to the things I enjoy, that somehow makes me not as committed or less of a fan in general. Honestly, if that is the case, than I don't want to live in that twisted, insular world then. What is the point of enjoying something if you have to act like that to what, show that you are more hardcore than someone else? Where is the joy? I see no happiness in that kind of existence.

That isn't to say that at times the things I enjoy couldn't be better, but I certainly don't act like that. And in the past I've gone after the Fanboy mentality.

I just happened to leave a comment on that above video, calling him the Chris Crocker of wrestling videos, which to me is an insult, but he took it as a compliment because Crocker gets a lot of hits (and he felt that people were jealous of his notoriety rather than objecting to his general demeanor).

But once again, there is one pop cultural institution that really nailed this all on the head. I am of course talking about The Simpsons and the character of Comic Book Guy.

Comic Book Guy: Last night's Itchy & Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.
Bart: Hey, I know it wasn’t great, but what right do you have to complain?
Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.
Bart: What? They’re giving you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? If anything, you owe them.
Comic Book Guy: [hesitantly] ...Worst episode ever.

If I ever become so humorless and let's face it, whacked out, please for the sake of all that is holy, slap me upside the head, because life is too short to be so wound up about things which are simply supposed to be entertainment.


Megan said...

Excellent points, Matt. I didn't even have to watch the video.

I've had some crazy discussions over the years (Star Wars comes up most often in my circle) but it is amazing how extreme some folks can get, to the point of actually being REALLY ANGRY about it. Jeez. Go be angry about world hunger or something, dude. It's just a lightsaber color, for chrissakes.

Lee said...

I think I've mellowed over the years in getting worked up about this stuff. Things get put into perspective I guess and there is so much other stuff out there fighting for my attention that it's hard to be too upset (hysterical).

I don't go to a lot of my old Star Trek fan sites because the people on those forums were hating on the new film before the first poster was released. It's all too negative.

Semaj said...

Man, that video is great.

You bring up some good points. I do that too from time to time, Getting worked up over fan stuff.

But, this guy was a bit much. (But very entertaining)

This post reminds me of that SW fan that attack you for no reason.

Arjan said...

as a warhammer 40K player I'm unfortunately not strange to encountering 'extreme fanboys' (extreme!). Drooling and screaming in favour of what they want. Makes me sad, and unfortunately puts a big stamp on the hobby, as it does on all things spoiled by these kind of people.

Razor said...

Agreed 100%

This mentality of the crazier you are or the more utterly ridiculous you are somehow making you a bigger fan is just stupid. It doesn't make you a bigger fan, it makes you a jackass.

I saw this video after the PPV and it was just as frightening as it was sad. Usually I don't like to make fun of kids who take their hobbies a little too seriously, but this kid was definitely old enough to know that he looks like a doofus.

As you said, it doesn't do us wrestling fans any favors.

MC said...

Megan: Part of me thinks you should show it to your son with the warning that he should never act like that.

Lee: People like that suck the joy out of everything, which is a huge problem when the thing you want to talk about is supposed to be entertainment. If you don't like something, you are not obligated to watch or participate in it. Seriously, it is as simple as that, but some people don't get it.

Semaj: The funny thing is, I never think about that dude because he posted anonymously, and thus I could not establish any sort of track record. He was just some random person who decided to try to pick a fight with me over something we can both agree was trivial.

Arjan: I haven't met someone like that in that community... granted I don't know many people in that community either, so I will take your word on that (and I have a feeling you have likely encountered more than one of them over the years).

Razor: I don't have a problem with being passionate and getting into things, or even going a little off the rails once and a while. It was when I started watching his other videos that I noticed that guy was like that all the time... and not in a good spirited way. There was just so much negativity, it was off putting and reminded me of so many other people across a wide spectrum of cultural experiences.

Part of me thinks because I am a reborn wrestling fan (I left the flock for over a decade, which included the entire Monday Night Wars and Attitude era) that may be part of the reason why I found his display so repellent.

Dalton J. Fox said...

LMAO! Douchebag immediately comes to mind when watching that video. And I like how he kept mention Phil Brooks (CM Punk's real name) to make himself sound like he's "in the know."

Seriously, the kid doesn't even know what he's talking about. He may think that acting like a moron on a YouTube video makes him look cool or makes him look like a "hardcore" fan, but in reality, it just makes him look pathetic.

The best part is I've been watching wrestling since before this kid was even a gleam in his mother's eye. But, as you said, jackasses such as him give the rest of us - the real fans - a bad name.

Hardcore wrestling fan - No.
Stupid idiot that gives wrestling fans a bad name - Definitely.

Oh, and on a side note, I couldn't be happier about Punk being the new World Champ. Too bad some idiots wouldn't recognize talent if it came up and smacked them in the face.

MC said...

Yeah, using someone's real name does not make a rant suddenly valid.

And I agree, that was a great piece of theatre. It is always wonderful to be surprised by something in wrestling.